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Current Affairs Date: 18 September 2022

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India’s Bioeconomy Report 2022

⇒ Union Minister of State (I/C) Science & Technology; Minister of State (I/C) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh released India’s Bioeconomy Report 2022 on 19 July 2022.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said Bioeconomy will be key to India’s future economy over the next 25 years.
    • He pointed out that India’s Bioeconomy has reached over 80 billion US Dollars in 2021 recording 14.1% growth over $70.2 billion in 2020.
    • Noting the rapid growth in the sector, the Minister said, Bioeconomy is likely to touch 150 billion dollars by 2025 and over 300 billion dollars by 2030.

» During the event, Dr Jitendra Singh also launched special Biotech Ignition Grant call for North East Region (BIG-NER) and announced financial support of up to Rs 50 Lakhs each to 25 startups and entrepreneurs from North East Region to develop biotech solutions.

    • He also informed that India is among the top 3 in South Asia and top 12 destinations for biotechnology in the world, with approximately 3% share in the global Biotechnology industry. Moreover, India has 2nd highest number of USFDA approved manufacturing plants outside the US.
Dr Jitendra Singh presented certain facts like BioPharma companies supported by Department of Biotechnology and BIRAC with risk-funding of about $71 Mn for development and manufacturing of Covid vaccines.
    • BioPharma Industry in 2021 tripled their R&D spending to nearly $1 billion from $360 million in 2020.
    • Industry also augmented the manufacturing capacity by 3 times from 1300 Mn dose in 2020 to 4500 Mn doses in 2021. This in turn, enabled administration of about 4 Mn doses of Covid vaccine per day in 2021.
    • The overall impact on Bioeconomy from Covid vaccines was registered as $8.7 billion as per the India Bioeconomy report 2022.
Secretary, DBT, Rajesh Gokhale also informed that in case of sustainable Bio-fuel, target year for 20% ethanol blending has been advanced by India from 2025 to 2023 and this biotech sub-sector has shown two times growth.
  • The Ethanol production of 3.3 Bn liters capacity has doubled to 6.5 Bn litres in 2021.
  • With further growth, India would save its import costs, thereby, directly impacting the Forex reserves and Import-Export imbalance in the favor of achieving $10 Trillion overall economy target by 2030.
  • BT Cotton, Biopesticides, Biostimulants and Biofertilizers contributed to about $10.48 billion in 2021 for bioeconomy of the country.

NDA government nominates four legendary personalities to Rajya Sabha

⇒ The NDA government nominated four legendary personalities — a woman, a Dalit, and a member of a religious minority (Jain community) — to the Rajya Sabha on 06 July 2022.

Film composer Ilaiyaraaja, legendary athlete PT Usha and film maker V Vijayendra Prasad were nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Philanthropist Veerendra Heggade was also named as a new member of the Upper House of Parliament.

The four personalities were selected from four southern states — PT Usha (Kerala), Ilaiyaraaja (Tamil Nadu), Veerendra Heggade (Karnataka) and Vijayendra Prasad (Andhra Pradesh).

Prestigious President’s Colours to the Tamil Nadu Police

⇒ Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu presented the prestigious President’s Colours to the Tamil Nadu police on 31 July 2022.

» The Vice-President said it is a recognition of the State police’s commendable service and many achievements.

    • He also said Tamil Nadu has the highest number of women police stations and the second highest number of women police personnel in the country. It also holds the distinction of establishing the first women commando force in the country.
About President’s Colours:
    • The President’s Colours is the highest honour bestowed upon any Military/ State police in recognition of its exceptional service of at least 25 years to the nation.
    • The Colours acknowledges the spirit of bravery, courage, commitment, professionalism, integrity, and service to humanity.
    • It is known by many names such as Ensign, Flag, Standards, or Colours. It is popularly called “Rashtrapati ka Nishan”.
    • In 2009, Tamil Nadu had received the prestigious President’s Colours.
    • Tamil Nadu is the only State in the country to have an exclusive Idol Wing, a unit dedicated to investigating into cases of theft or loss of cultural artefacts such as idols, paintings and other treasures of the nation’s heritage.

International

17th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Growth Partnership.

⇒ The Union Minister of State for Commerce & Industry (MoS), Smt Anupriya Patel met Mr. Melaku Alebel, Minister of Industry, Ethiopia on 19 July 2022.

Key Points:
    • Both leaders reviewed the India-Ethiopia bilateral relations.
    • Highlighting the traditional close relationship, which now covers all areas of mutual and contemporary relevance, both Ministers agreed that there is considerable potential for enhancing economic and commercial partnership between the two countries.
    • Both sides acknowledged the need for diversification of the trade basket for increasing the bilateral trade between the two countries. 
    • Minister Alebel appreciated the Indian investments in Ethiopia with 650 Indian companies providing employment to over 75,000 persons.
    • MoS also highlighted the Duty-Free tariff Preference Scheme of India for the least- developed countries (LDCs), including Ethiopia, wherein India provides unilateral duty free /preferential market access on about 98.2% of India’s Tariff lines at six-digit level.
    • Both sides discussed further avenues to realise the full potential through expanded cooperation in agriculture, food processing, leather and textiles. MoS reiterated India’s commitment towards development partnership with Ethiopia.

Important Day

World Zoonosis Day

⇒ World Zoonosis Day is observed every year on 6th July across the world. The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the infectious diseases collectively termed zoonotic diseases.

History:

The day is celebrated in memory of Louis Pasteur, a French biologist who, on July 6, 1885, successfully administered the first-ever Rabies vaccine to a patient named Joseph Meister.

About Zoonosis:
    • Zoonotic diseases originate in animals and can spread to humans. Infections occur through bites or contact with the infected animal’s bodily fluids.
    • Virus, bacteria, fungi, prions or parasites cause zoonosis.
    • Rabies, Ebola, certain strains of Swine flu, leptospirosis, brucellosis, anthrax, Zika and Ebola viruses, rickettsioses, plague, chikungunya, dengue and Japanese encephalitis, are the most notorious zoonotic diseases.
    • Zoonosis symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, diarrhoea and fatigue. These symptoms are also present in non-zoonotic ailments.

Source: PIB & Other News Reports

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